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Old 24 Nov 2006
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Can anyone recommend a 4x4 driving Course

Hi There,

I'm looking at booking up a 4x4 driving course to allow me to get to know my vehicle a learn about all aspects of expedition and off road driving. I'm just checking to see if anyone has any recommendations?

I need it to be within a couple hours drive of Southampton, or possibly between Southampton and west Cornwall, as I might take advantage of the Xmas break to take the training and I'm I'm travelling down to Cornwall then.

Theres a few I've found on the web, ranging from £65 - £440, and I'm sure in many ways you get what you pay for, but one of the key things we'd like to do is do it in our own vehicle.

thanks in advance


Land's End to Sydney 2009
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Old 24 Nov 2006
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Have you tried David Bowyer's Offroad Centre?

No personal experience but I know it's been around for some time and may be local to you.
Roman (UK)
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Old 24 Nov 2006
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Now that looks liek great fun! Think the two day course would be suitable, but might stretch the budget at the time being. Time to speak to the wife!



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Old 24 Nov 2006
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There are plenty of offroad clubs, the members are usually more than happy to offer advice and even sit in with you on playdays. It could work out cheaper, and even reduce your insurance premium.
just a thought.
Harley Davidsons,
The most effective way of turning petrol into noise without the side-effect of horsepower
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Old 24 Nov 2006
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Hey Joe - Where you going?

Hi there Joe .....

Yes we have joined our local club, but both of us are a bit chicken and have decided to have one lesson before we go down.

Bck, bck bck bck berck!

Hopefully having the lesson will fill us with confidence and there will be no stopping us then.



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Old 25 Nov 2006
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A glowing recommendation...

Have you thought about the BORDA stage 1 and 2 course? Its very good off road intro. The course centres around what’s safe to do and potential hazards rather than just splashing through mud.

I did the course at Trax and Trails (Devon / Cornwall boarder) a couple of months ago and was extremely impressed with the instructors knowledge and was entertained the tracks on their site. All in all it was a fun couple of days and I think money well spent.

After 20 years of professional expedition driving in N.Africa and the Middle East, I was surprised at how much I learnt!! I'm not sure if that you can use your own vehicle (insurance ect) but they have a range of Defenders and Discos to chose from. Personally I preferred driving their vehicles as I wasn’t so worried about having an expensive roof denting accident. ...and before anyone mentions it - I have no connection with them - I was just very impressed with the set up there.
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Old 25 Nov 2006
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Location: Kent, Uk
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Off-road course


judst a quickie:

My wife and I did the two day course at Dave Bowyers, prior to going on our trip to Africa. We were suitably impressed with the course and the instructor and what we found the vehicle was capable of doing - not having had much 4x4 experience prior.

They are very profesional, but ensure that the course is enjoyable - we also met another bloke who was doing our course, bacame good friends and met up in Africa - he travelled up from Zambia to North Tanzania to meet up with us.

Do not hesitate to go and bok Dave Bowyers course, they are very experienced, know what they are talking about and will give you a discount in their shop for off road and recovery kit.

God luck
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Old 29 Nov 2006
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Location: Banff,Canada/Poole,UK
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Hi Ollie....
A Few months ago I would have said got to Land Rover Experience West Country (Awliscombe near Honiton, Devon)- www. lre9.com

...... and ask for me as your Instructor - but Im now in Canada !!!

Seriously, if you dont mind paying a few extra quid, the quality of the Instruction is WORLD class, the curriculum can be tailored to your requirements and if you havent taken a Defender seriously off road you will be amazed at what it will do.

I think you will find it difficult to use your own vehicle at most off road centres - for insurance - believe me it is better to use a nice new Td5 that isnt yours, for the toughest terrain, and see what the Defender can really do, as opposed to ragging the hell out of your pride and joy - the differences are not that great and (a good) Instructor will highlight the main differences, Traction Control etc etc.

I would reccommend a Level one - full day and ask for AJ as your instructor - a good friend of mine and really knows his stuff.

If you dont mind going further afield, head to Land Rover Experience Malverns at Eastnor Castle - some of the toughest terrain in the UK and the same range of courses.

Hope this helps

'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander

Last edited by Gipper; 29 Nov 2006 at 04:55.
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